January 21, 2014

Japan Industrial Partners May Buy Biglobe For JPY 70 Billion

The Nikkei reported that "NEC is in late-stage talks to sell Biglobe, Japan's fourth-largest Internet service provider by customers, to an investment fund for around 70 billion yen ($666 million)" and "Japan Industrial Partners, the prospective buyer, appears to be seeking tie-ups between Biglobe and Sony- and Fujitsu-affiliated players, among others."

Internet subscribership in Japan is growing, thanks to the proliferation of smartphones. But providers that belong to telecom groups, such as NTT, are taking the lion's share of new customers. Others, such as Sony unit So-net and Fujitsu's Nifty, are struggling.

Biglobe has some 3 million Internet subscribers with sales at JPY 84.1 billion in fiscal 2012.

NEC has held two rounds of bidding for the unit since last October. The parties proceeded to the final round in December were reportedly Itochu Corp, local buyout fund Japan Rising Equity and Japan Industrial Partners (JIP).

No press release was so far issued by NEC nor JIP.

January 20, 2014

Tokio Marine Capital Invests Approx. JPY 1 Billion In Asplund

Tokio Marine Capital announced that TMCAP 2011 fund has invested in Asplund Co.

According to Tokio, "Asplund is operating OEM for furniture and interior merchandising and sales of imported furniture to commercial spaces such as hotels, restaurants, cafes, and public spaces, as well as its own lifestyle retail stores “TIMELESS COMFORT” and “212 KITCHEN STORE”. 

Nikkei reported that Tokio acquired a majority stake of Asplund for slightly over  JPY 1 billion.  The revenue for the FY ending October 2013 was JPY 11.2 billion.

Tokio Marine Capital's press release: